Last Friday, rumors began to circulate the Twittersphere about Chicagoan Jabari Parker signing with the Chicago Bulls. Nothing looked clear until Saturday morning when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski dropped his WOJBomb.
This brought the realization that Parker would be headed home after spending his first 4 pro season for the Milwaukee Bucks. After only 25 games into his rookie season, he was sidelined by an ACL injury. He picked thing up the following season by playing in 76 games while averaging 14.1 points and 5.2 rebounds. Parker’s third season looked like he was ready to be a star player in Milwaukee. He averaged 20.1 points and 6.2 rebounds before he suffered his second ACL injury in February 2017. This past season, he didn’t make his season debut until February 2nd. Throughout the season, he shown signs of what was but still looked a step off at most times. He finished the season averaging 12.6 points and 4.9 rebounds in 32 games (3 starts).
This summer for Parker was set to be a big one for his future. Back in November, talks fell apart between him and the Bucks. He did end up signing a qualifying offer which gave the Bucks n opportunity to match any deal. They just to rescind it, allowing him to be an unrestricted free agent.
Parker signed with the Bulls on Saturday after accepting a 2-year/$40 million deal. For now the lineup looks to be one of the youngest in the league.
Point Guard: Kris Dunn, 24
Shooting Guard: Zach LaVine, 23
Small Forward: Jabari Parker, 23
Power Forward: Lauri Markkanen, 21
Center: Wendell Carter Jr., 19
Coming off the ACL injury and his size, Parker at the 3 is less than ideal when it comes to defense but he still remains a scoring threat. The Bulls recognize his injury past but points his age (23-years-old) and believes he has a lot left in the tank.Despite the concern for the fit this move is a big move for the hometown kid and all his supporters.
Many in Chicago still remember Jabari from his Simeon Academy days when he won four straight titles. For those growing up and watching him, it was like we watching a legend in the making.
Twitter often like to circulate this famous picture of young Parker beside Derrick Rose. Parker still speaks highly of Rose and respect his game. Now, Parker has a chance to put on for his city.
Probably a good time to remember a classic photo… https://t.co/1Hvf9LcJcX—
Michael O'Brien (@michaelsobrien) July 13, 2018
Parker over the years has used his time to give back both in Chicago and Milwaukee.
It’s always been bigger than basketball. Thank you, Jabari. https://t.co/IkL2pIWbPo—
Bucks Community (@BucksCommunity) July 14, 2018
Parker has addressed the gun violence in the city of Chicago in The Players Tribune piece in 2016.
Jabari Parker is often seen throughout the two cities working out and playing basketball. Just last week, the night before the signing, Parker was playing in a Milwaukee park with fans. He even gave up his shorts right off his body to one.
@Bucks this man @JabariParker rly pulled up to a public outdoor park, ran 5’s with strangers and stripped down to h… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
Jonathan Morris (@JDMorris_98) July 13, 2018
Fans of the Chicago Bulls have grown optimistic over their young pieces but are now skeptical of the recent move. Don’t be, let it play out! The Eastern Conference could potentially let them play meaningful basketball again. This will draw in fans as well as the many fans who have rooted for Jabari Parker through thick and thin over the years. The deal gives the Bulls flexibility while allowing Parker to not only get a second chance at becoming a star but being able to give his family, friends, and many supporters a firsthand look.
See Red, Jabari Parker.
Also, don’t want to pat my own back but I saw it coming.